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NCJ Number: 50742 Find in a Library
Title: ROLE OF PSYCHIATRY IN THE SENTENCING PROCESS
Journal: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1978)  Pages:63-77
Author(s): A DERSHOWITZ
Corporate Author: Pergamon Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Pergamon Press, Inc
Elmsford, NY 10523
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW IS PRESENTED OF THE ROLE OF DISCRETION IN SENTENCING. DISCUSSIONS OF THE RECENT ROLE PLAYED BY PSYCHIATRY IN THE SENTENCING PROCESS AND ITS UNCERTAIN FUTURE IN THIS AREA FOLLOW.
Abstract: AS GREATER DISCRETION WAS ACCORDED JUDGES AND PAROLE BOARDS, PSYCHIATRY BECAME MORE INFLUENTIAL IN DETERMINING THE DURATION OF CRIMINAL SENTENCES. PSYCHIATRY ASSUMED AN IMPORTANT ROLE AS RELATIVELY INDETERMINATE SENTENCING, WITH ITS MANIFOLD VARIATIONS, BECAME THE PRIMARY MECHANISM OF SENTENCING THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. VOCAL REACTION AGAINST EXCESSES OF DISCRETION, DISPARITY, AND INDETERMINANCY, HOWEVER, IS OCCURRING, AND THERE IS A CALL FOR THE RETURN TO RELATIVELY FIXED, CERTAIN, AND EQUITABLE SENTENCES. SEVERAL STATE LEGISLATURES REDUCED THE DISCRETION OF PAROLE BOARDS AND OTHER RELEASING AUTHORITIES SIGNIFICANTLY, AND THE CONGRESS HAS BEFORE IT BILLS TO CURTAIL THE DEGREE OF DISCRETION EXERCISED BY SENTENCING JUDGES. THE CONTINUED ROLE OF PSYCHIATRY IN THE SENTENCING PROCESS, THEREFORE, IS UNCERTAIN. THE EMPHASIS IS SHIFTING FROM PRESCRIBING SENTENCES FOR THE LONG TERM BENEFIT OF THE OFFENDER TO ESTABLISHING SENTENCES THAT ACCORD WITH THE CRIME. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PSYCHIATRY ALMOST SURELY WILL BE DIMINISHED AND ITS ROLE ALTERED AS A RESULT OF THIS SHIFT IN ATTITUDE. THE ROLE OF PSYCHIATRY IN SENTENCING IS EXAMINED IN RELATION TO PRESENTENCING PSYCHIATRIC REPORTS, PRESENTENCING PROBATION REPORTS. AND PRESENTENCING PSYCHIATRIC TESTIMONY. THE INCREASE AND SKEPTICISM CONCERNING DISCRETION, DETERMINACY, AND REHABILITATION IS CONSIDERED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Discretionary decisions; Future trends; Mentally ill offenders; Psychiatry; Sentencing/Sanctions
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50742

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